A robin looking for food
image by Crystal Woroniuk/sxc.hu
Seeding a lawn is less expensive than laying sod and is the most common way of repairing existing lawns. Seeding requires more initial care than a sod lawn, but is just as attractive if done right. Unfortunately, birds are drawn to the seed and may eat most of it before it has a chance to grow unless you take the proper precautions. Protect your newly seeded lawn while giving it the proper conditions to germinate and grow quickly. Once germinated, the birds will have little interest in it.
Rake seeds into the top layer of soil, then go over the area with a seed roller immediately after sowing. Even if the birds get some top seeds, they will be unable to get all the seed if sown properly.
Mulch the area with a 1-inch layer of straw mulch. This prevents the birds from seeing the seeds and helps hold in the moisture needed for germination.
Lay clear plastic sheeting over the seeded area and weigh down with rocks. Use plastic sheeting only during spring or fall seedings, where the temperature under the plastic will not be so hot that it damages the seeds.
Surround the seeded area with wooden stakes and tie bird tape around each stake. Purchase bird tape---a metallic streamer that scares birds as it glitters in the breeze---from home and garden stores.
Use items meant to keep birds from gardens, such as whirly-gigs and other moving lawn ornaments. Choose items with plenty of movement and bright colors that only a require a small breeze to set them off.